San Diego Domestic Violence Attorney
Prosecutors in San Diego County will always seek to hit you with the maximum penalties once they have decided to charge you with domestic violence. To make matters worse, domestic abuse allegations are often made by an angry spouse who exaggerates the facts to the police. While that spouse might later regret having called the police, there’s nothing the alleged victim can do if the District Attorney decides to press charges.
Experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer
Fortunately, our firm understands this process through our years of experience with spousal abuse charges in San Diego. We know how to spot the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you, and we know what is needed to minimize the damage. A domestic violence conviction can have long-term consequences for you and your family. Call us to discuss your case and find out how we can help.
Fighting Your Domestic Violence Charges
Mr. Ozols will aggressively attack every part of the prosecutions case against you. First, we review all police records to find any favorable facts. Second, we interview all witnesses to find any inconsistencies in their stories. Lastly, we will attempt to negotiate a favorable deal with the D.A., but rest assured that we will not accept an unfavorable plea. In the event that a trial is necessary, you will have a skilled trial lawyer ready to challenge every aspect of the prosecutions case and fight to get you the “NOT GUILY” verdict you deserve.
Domestic Violence Laws in San Diego County
Corporal Injury on a Spouse - Penal Code 273.5
California Penal Code section 273.5 makes it illegal to inflict corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant if that injury results in a traumatic condition. This would happen if someone committed an offense by striking or hitting someone else who is his or her intimate partner and it caused visible injury. Domestic violence cases are taken very serious in San Diego. Even if the injury is a slight cut or a bruise the alleged perpetrator will be taken into custody.
Penal code § 273.5 applies if the alleged victim was on or more of the following:
- The offender’s spouse or former spouse,
- The offender’s former cohabitant or current cohabitant
- The offender’s fiance or fiancee, or someone with whom the offender has, or previously had, an engagement or dating relationship, as defined in paragraph (10) of subdivision (f) of Section 243.
- The mother or father of the offender’s child.
Domestic Battery – Penal Code 243(e)(1)
Penal Code 243(e)(1) is one of the most common battery charges in California. Domestic battery is a misdemeanor when one inflicts force on their intimate partner. Unlike corporal injury (see above), this offense does not need to have a visible injury and is often taken on the statements of one of the parties.
With this weakness of evidence, these types of cases are easily defendable. It often either turns into a “he said she said” or just a trial where the previous intimate partner who made the complaint does not want to testify.
Often individuals are fearful of the idea of trial and don’t understand that the District Attorney generally doesn’t have the best case. No matter what they say, beyond a reasonable doubt is a very high burden to meet when there is just an officer testifying about statements from the alleged victim.
Domestic Violence and Criminal Threats
Criminal threats under California Penal Code Section 422 is another possible charge that can be linked to a domestic violence situation. To be charged with criminal threats one would have had to threatened someone either verbally, in writing, or by means of electronic communication device, and that person would reasonably have to be in fear. It would have to be a threat that could actually be carried out as well, regardless if the person making the threat intended to carry it out.
This can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony and as a felony it is seen as a “Strike” under the California three strikes laws. In short, the three strikes laws means that if you are convicted of three of these offenses you will have to spend life in prison as a mandatory sentence.
Domestic Violence Recovery Program
Domestic violence convictions in San Diego carry a lot of weight in the court system and can have very severe punishment. If convicted, at a minimum it is very common to have to do a 52-week DVRP class, which is once a week for 52 weeks. The class is not just one where you show up and leave, the class requires active participation with a teacher rating how well you did each and every week.
That is why there is so much emphasis on hiring an attorney that knows that law and is not afraid to push the case all the way to trial. Another consequence of a domestic violence conviction is a Criminal Protective Order
Criminal Protective Orders and Domestic Violence
Most people have heard of a restraining order or a temporary restraining order (“TRO”). A TRO is actually a civil case where it is filed and adjudicated in civil court. This is something that one party files in order to have the other party stay away from them.
In contrast a criminal protective order is usually imposed by a judge at sentencing or written into a plea agreement. This protective order often lasts 1-3 years and includes many terms. At a minimum, if probation is not completed the individual will likely have the order still in effect but it be modified to say “no negative contact”.
Even a no negative contact order can cause problems. This means that if the individual’s intimate partner ever calls the police on them, even if it is a non-violent situation, then it is likely that the no negative contact order will be violated and they may be facing a probation violation and jail time.
Consequences of a Criminal Protective Order
Along with the obvious consequences of not being able to contact an individual you may still be with, a criminal protective order has many other consequences as well. San Diego borders Mexico, and many San Diego residents often travel there or make a living operating a business that provides services in both countries. A criminal protective order often causes many issues at the border. These go into a computer system immediately and will be seen by border patrol officers.
In our experience it is extremely common for individuals with a criminal protective order to have to go into secondary inspection every time they cross the border. This can cause problems in one’s business and take up a lot of unnecessary time.
Another reason is just getting pulled over by police. With a criminal protective order in effect, every time one is pulled over they will get questioned. If that individual is still in a relationship with the other who is involved in the case then the police will question both parties every time and possibly take one party into custody for the probation violation.
Protect Your Legal Rights
If you or a loved one has been charged with domestic violence, call San Diego Domestic Violence Attorney Alex Ozols today at 619.288.8357 or fill out our free case evaluation form to see how we can assist you during this difficult time. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss your criminal defense needs.